Quantum Information Faster Than Light?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

Continuing the discussion from J Mac Seeking a Pupil:

@J_Mac there has been a lot of work done to find out if entanglement allows faster than light transmission of information. If it did, quantum theory would violate relativity. On face value, it seems like some entanglement allows faster than light information transfer. This is on the face value, as a closer more rigorous look demonstrates that this is not the case. Quantum entanglement cannot send information faster than light. It is not that the experiments are false, but that they are not interacting with relativity in the way we initially think.

A great article looking at just this question:

This is one of the most confusing things about quantum physics: entanglement can be used to gain information about a component of a system when you know the full state and make a measurement of the other component(s), but not to create-and-send information from one part of an entangled system to the other. As clever of an idea as this is, Olivier, there’s still no faster-than-light communication.

This is one of the interesting things about both science and theology. We find that reality is more than what meets the eye. Our intuitions mislead us. As Fenyman puts it:

“Trying to understand the way nature works involves a most terrible test of human reasoning ability. It involves subtle trickery, beautiful tightropes of logic on which one has to walk in order not to make a mistake in predicting what will happen.” - Richard Feynman

This is one of the way that creation reveals to us something about God. Nature is unintuitive and surprising, befuddling our natural understanding. God, if He exist, we should expect would be the same.

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(Steve Schaffner) #2

Yeah. The fact that QM entails no FTL communication of information was established in the 1980s, as far as I can tell. It’s known as the No Communication Theorem.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #3

Bingo.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

Another salient quote from Ethan’s article worth considering:

As Niels Bohr once famously put it:

If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.

This is very important lesson from physics. Even the reductive simplicity of the world uncovered by physics is profoundly shocking. It is deeply non-intuitive, and not what we would have imagined in our wildest dreams if not for the stead progress of theory alongside experiments. Even then, it took true genius, and rebellion from true genius to discover quantum mechanics. Physics is befuddling, even as it is coherent.

Biology, in many ways, is just so much more complex. We should expect it will be non-intuitive, and we find befuddling and surprising things that are, ultimately largely correct even if they are the total truth.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) split this topic #6

A post was merged into an existing topic: Robert Byers’ Goals Here